Chapter 62 – Bartering
Xu’s Fur Shop was the only fur shop in Daxing Town. It was relatively large in scale and had elaborate decorations. In addition to selling fur, the shop also sold ready-made clothes and accessories.
As the ox cart arrived, Yan Xiaosi sat on it, examining the fur shop.
A beautiful young woman in her twenties, dressed in a green gown with her hair in a bun, and a young girl dressed as a maidservant with her hair in double rings, were each holding a duster, dusting the fur shawls hanging on the shelves.
Yan Xiaosi looked at them, ready to jump off the ox-cart with the dog skin in hand, but Yan Shuqin held her sleeve tightly.
“Big sister, what’s wrong?”
Yan Xiaosi looked back and saw that Yan Shuqin had a nervous expression on her face.
Yan Shuqin slightly loosened Yan Xiaosi’s sleeve but still didn’t let go. “Xiaosi, do we really have to go in?”
Yan Xiaosi looked carefully and saw that Ms. Zhong, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun also had nervous expressions on their faces. Since Yan Bowen’s death, Ms. Zhong had been supporting her four children by selling firewood and they couldn’t afford new clothes. The three sisters, Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun, had never been able to afford even simple accessories. Now, faced with such a high-end fur shop, they were all understandably tense.
Understanding their expressions, Yan Xiaosi said, “Mom, big sister, second sister, third sister, if you’re nervous, I can go in alone.”
“Xiaosi, big sister will go with you.”
Although Yan Shuqin was nervous, she was even more worried about Yan Xiaosi’s safety. Seeing Yan Xiaosi heading towards Xu’s Fur Shop with the dog skin, she gritted her teeth, mustered her courage, and jumped off the ox cart.
“Big sister, Xiaosi, wait for me.”
Following suit, Yan Shuxue also jumped off the ox cart.
Seeing Yan Shuqin and Yan Shuxue following Yan Xiaosi to Xu’s Fur Shop, Yan Shuyun also got off the ox-cart and limped after the three of them.
Ms. Zhong had intended to follow, but since no one was watching the ox cart, she had no choice but to stay behind to keep an eye on it.
Yan Xiaosi didn’t say anything about her sisters following her.
Each of her three sisters had their own strengths. She didn’t want them to lead mediocre lives. So, it was good for them to follow her and see the world.
As the four of them arrived at the entrance of Xu’s Fur Shop, the beautiful young woman in the green gown with her hair in a bun handed the duster to the maidservant beside her and turned to welcome the guests.
“What would you like to buy? Our shop offers fur, ready-made clothing, and accessories. Please come in and have a closer look.”
The young woman did not disdain Yan Xiaosi and the others for their simple clothes. Instead, she stood to the side of the entrance with a smile, enthusiastically inviting them in.
Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun felt somewhat guilty and did not dare to look at the young woman directly.
Only Yan Xiaosi walked confidently in the front. When the young woman spoke, she glanced at her and then swaggered into the fur shop.
Seeing Yan Xiaosi entering the fur shop, Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun, feeling nervous, had no choice but to follow her in.
Once inside, Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun mustered the courage to raise their heads. The three sisters were amazed when they saw the beautiful clothes and glossy fur on the shelves.
It was their first time seeing such beautiful and gorgeous clothes. They felt as if a new world had appeared in front of their eyes.
Yan Xiaosi had seen more luxurious items in her previous life, so she didn’t show any particular expression when looking at the clothes and fur in front of her.
“Take your time to browse and let me know if you find anything you like.” From the surprised expressions of Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun, the young woman in the green gown could tell that Yan Xiaosi and her siblings couldn’t afford the items in the shop. However, her attitude remained unchanged; her face still carried a faint smile.
Yan Xiaosi appreciated the young woman’s business acumen, and thus felt a strong affinity towards her.
“To be honest, ma’am, we siblings didn’t come here to buy anything.”
The young woman in green had already guessed as much. When Yan Xiaosi said this, her expression didn’t change. Knowing that Yan Xiaosi had more to say, she waited patiently.
Yan Xiaosi showed the dog skin to the young woman in green. The young woman glanced at the dog skin and asked, “Are you planning to sell this dog skin to us? Our shop does buy animal skins, but the color of this dog skin isn’t very appealing. I’m afraid it won’t be worth much. You might as well take it back and sew a hat and gloves for your own use during winter.”
Poor-quality animal skins aren’t worth much, especially a common dog skin. The young woman in green made a reasonable suggestion and considered Yan Xiaosi’s best interests. If it weren’t for the fear that keeping the dog skin would cause trouble for Ms. Zhong and Yan Shuqin, using it to make gloves and hats for winter would be a better option.
Yan Xiaosi gave the young woman in green a grateful smile and said, “Ma’am, I don’t want to sell you this dog skin.”
“You don’t want to sell the dog skin?”
Yan Xiaosi’s words caught the young woman in green off guard.
Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun were also surprised, not knowing what Yan Xiaosi was thinking.
Yan Xiaosi continued, “Ma’am, does your shop have any leftover fur scraps from tailoring that are no longer needed? I’d like to exchange this intact dog skin for some scraps.”
As Xu’s Fur Shop deals in fur and ready-made clothing, there must be some leftover fabric and fur scraps. The young woman in green thought about it and did not ask Yan Xiaosi what she wanted to do with the small fur scraps. Instead, she instructed the maidservant beside her, “I remember there are some fur scraps on the second floor. Since this young man wants them, go fetch them and give them to him.”
Yan Xiaosi watched as the little maidservant put the duster in a porcelain vase and turned to walk towards the stairs, feeling overjoyed in her heart.
After waiting for a while, she saw the little maidservant carrying a hemp sack down the stairs.
Seeing this, Yan Xiaosi’s eyes brightened.
When the little maidservant brought the hemp sack down, the young woman in green said to Yan Xiaosi, “These small scraps have no use anymore. If you want them, just take them.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
Yan Xiaosi thanked her while handing the dog skin to the young woman in green.
The young woman in green instructed the little maidservant to take the dog skin.
Although the dog skin wasn’t very attractive, it could be cleaned up and made into a fur collar, perhaps worth a few silver coins.
Yan Xiaosi bid farewell to the young woman in green, picked up the half-filled hemp sack of fur, and called Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun, who were still in shock, to leave Xu’s Fur Shop. After getting on the ox cart, Yan Xiaosi couldn’t wait to open the hemp sack. Seeing that it was filled with high-quality mink, rabbit, and fox fur, she couldn’t help but smile, her mouth curving up noticeably.